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LawnSite Member
hello all,
i am searching for a excavator.

We are looking at 3 ton machine. We have so far tested a cat 303.5 and a volvo ec30. the volvo out performed the cat in all aspects even though it was rated as a 3 ton compared to 3.5. We are looking at:

1. volvo

any comment would be greatly appreciated.


LawnSite Senior Member
The Kubota KX-91 may be worth a look.


LawnSite Fanatic
Marysville, WA
So you're looking for used equipment then? I'm assuming because the 303.5 isn't produced anymore. We have a 303CR and even though we bought it earlier this year I don't know where we would have been without it this summer, it worked ALOT. The pre-2002 models, or the ".5's" are excellent machines as well. I actually really liked the 304.5, I had one with 800 hrs. on demo for about a week stacking a wall and it was a very stout machine. Volvo makes a superb machine I'm told, but I guess they're kind of on the pricey side of things. Kubota I liked, the ergonomics weren't as good as Cat and up here the price for a Kubota was the same as a Cat with about half the dealer support, so the choice was obvious for us. My biggest gripe about Kubota is the travel pedals, they're a joke. As far as JCB, I don't think I've ever seen a JCB in person, so I can't really give an honest opinion. Takeuchi, Yanmar, and Bobcat are a couple other options, all are well designed machines.


LawnSite Member
thank you for the response,
our time frame is 2 weeks, we wont run attachments, with exception to a thumb (skid steer will handle majority of that) and we wanted to stay with a compact radius.
we wont go cat, we bought a 232b this year and we ran it for a month f and about 90hrs. Than it went in because it was making a noise, and we still don't have it back. They are working with engineers in the states, but nothing yet.

we really like the volvo, but it is pricey. Thats why I ask about the JCB.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I'm a little hesitant about JCB... although they're likely good machines, I'm a little leery of their support in North America. They haven't had phenomenal compact equipment sales here, and I'm not sure if you do have a problem, how long you may be out of service. Then again, that's really a local issue, and you'll have to decide for yourself whether your dealer is on top of things or not.

Volvo should be a good, solid machine; perhaps see if your dealer can't give you some concessions if you mention you are learning toward, say, Cat.

Bobcat ZHS machines are okay, but I haven't heard much about them, either. I think they're pretty slick, maybe a little light on the lifting, but a great idea.

Finally, I would suggest Cat again, and I'm sorry to hear that you had a few bad experiences with it. In many cases, I think Cat produces the best overall product -- maybe not in every single category, but overall, it's a tough machine to beat. Price is another story.


LawnSite Senior Member
Roanoke, VA
Demo the JD 35D...awesome machine. I bought one earlier this year and have been incredibly impressed. I seriously doubt you would regret going with one of these.


LawnSite Member
bay area ca
Try the mustang 3303 Its rated @ 6500 lbs .. A lot of power and break out force. I look @ komusta ,bobcat,cat,. Iamnot abig mustang fan. But i really was impress with its performance. I got it for 41000. with the 12 18 24 and thumb. Put 10k down monthly payment about 520 for 60 months @ 3.5% intrest. Iam in the bay area in califorina..

Planet Landscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Oxford ct.
For 41k U can get a 10000 lb Kubota 121-3, Mustang doesnt look like a good value next to the Kubota.